Frauds and scams

Online and telephone frauds and scams are sadly common across the world.  Some specifically target international students studying abroad.  We offer some general information about common frauds and scams and what to do if you think you have became a victim of a scam.

What you can do to help protect yourself

Ask a Student "How to Avoid Fraud" blog

Click here for useful tips from a UoG student:



Protecting your information and recognising potential frauds or scams

You can help protect your information and money by learning more about how to recognise a potential scam or fraud, as well as taking actions to stay safe online and over the phone.  Please refer to the links in our Useful Resources section.

We have offered some useful tips below about what to do if you are contacted by telephone, e-mail or over social media and suspect the contact may not be genuine:

  • Do not provide any personal details (e.g. date of birth, nationality, address, passport or visa details, bank account details).
  • Avoid confirming whether any of your personal details are correct if they ask you to do so (even if they appear to know some of your information already).
  • Be very suspicious if you are contacted unexpectedly and asked to pay money or to buy something (for example, to pay a fee or fine, pay money by a cash or bank transfer, to buy iTunes or other vouchers).
  • Scammers often try to generate a sense of urgency or threat.  They may shout at you or try to make you feel frightened.  They may try to make you pay money or take an action as quickly as possible.  They do not want to give you time to think, so they will rush you into things.
  • Please feel comfortable to end a telephone call abruptly if you think the call may be a scam. Don't worry about sounding impolite.  If the caller is genuine, it is possible to confirm this later.  For example, if the caller says they are from your bank, end the call and then contact your bank using their official contact details and website (do not use links or contact details you have been sent via e-mail or given to you during the telephone call).
  • If the caller says they are from UKVI / the UK Home Office or that there is a problem with your UK visa, end the call and contact us at International Student Support with details of what happened.  We can contact UKVI to check if anyone has genuinely attempted to contact you.
  • If you receive a suspicious e-mail do not open it or any attachments (e.g. to avoid viruses or someone accessing your device).  Delete the e-mail.
  • Do not allow anyone remote access top your laptop, phone or other devices.
  • If someone you don't know contacts you on social media and asks to chat or engage with you, you may wish to ignore or delete the request.  Scammers sometimes pretend they are a person looking for friendship and ask you to join a live chat, or to send them photos or videos.  Later they might contact you to say you have done something wrong and you need to pay them money to avoid trouble.  Or that they will share pictures of you if you do not pay them money.  This is a common scam.


What to do if you think you have been a victim of a fraud or scam

If you think you have been a victim of a fraud or scam

  • Where your bank details or money held in a bank may have been comprimised, please contact your bank and tell them what has happened as soon as possible
  • You may wish to report the incident to Police Scotland. You can do this by dialling 101, or use their online "Contact Us" form 
  • It may also be a good idea to contact a Student Support Officer at UoG who can discuss any welfare or wellbeing related support they may be able to offer
  • If your mental health has been affected by an incident please also see the Counselling and Psychological Services webpages and information on 24/7 support that students can access via the Student Assistance Programme app